A fallen-away Catholic named “Ellery” left an interesting comment this morning in the “Why They Left God” thread. I encourage you to read the whole thing. This was the most notable part of it, I think:
Years later, I have realized, especially after living in Israel and seeing Judaism in all its forms, that what is missing isn’t “liberal” or “conservative” but rather, a discipline of prayer. No one really taught me that, not my conservative, crazy 7th grade Catholic teacher who told us all the divorced & remarried parents of her students would go to hell for what they’d done, and showed us really horrible anti-abortion movies- nor the Jesuit church where God was sometimes referred to as “She” and Latin America was high on the list of things we talked about at Mass.
Marshall McLuhan — yes, the media theorist; he was a devout Catholic — said this:
I never came into the church as a person who was being taught Catholic doctrines. I came in on my knees. That is the only way in. When people start praying they need truths; that’s all. You don’t come into the Church through ideas and concepts, and you cannot leave by mere disagreement. It has to be a loss of faith, a loss of participation.
You can tell: when people leave the Church, they have quit praying. The active relating to the Church’s prayer and sacraments is not through ideas.
Me being me, I can’t be reminded of this often enough.